Americans for Informed Democracy’s goal is to empower young people to create a more just, healthy, peaceful and sustainable world. What better way to do this than recruit students like you to lead the work we’ll be doing on the issues the network decided on for the year! We have four campaign teams: Security, Hunger, Climate and Sex and Justice. Each team has students filing such key roles as Coordinator, Organizer, Communications Guru and Issue Analyst. These teams know the issues, and they’ll be crafting strategies that will build winning campaigns on campuses across the country.
We’ve recruited an amazing crop of talented and visionary students to make up these teams (see below), but we’re always on the hunt for more! Interested in joining a team? Check out our Opportunities page to find out how to apply.
Scot P. | Communications Guru
Scot graduated from Arizona State University in 2009, with a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Political Science. He has a strong interest in American foreign policy, and eventually hopes to study international relations in graduate school. Read Scot’s posts.
Emily Burlinghaus | Issue Analyst
Emily Burlinghaus is an incoming freshman at New York University hoping to major in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She has a strong interest in human rights, especially gender issues in Islam and the Middle East. Her academic interests include Arabic and Farsi languages as well as Iranian Studies. Read Emily’s full bio and posts.
Ana Ila | Issue Analyst
Ana Ila studies Economics at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna. Her academic interests include (but are not limited to) dynamics of interactions between interest groups and international security. Read Ana’s full bio and posts.
Neysha Alvarez | Issue Analyst
Neysha M. Alvarez graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. She previously held the position of Global Peace and Security Advocacy Fellow in January 2009 as part of the Americans for Informed Democracy initiative on fulfilling a campaign on U.S.-Iranian relations, and has also previously worked as Campus Coordinator for Democracy Matters, a non-profit organization whose mission is to mentor the next generation of leaders dedicated to strengthening our democracy. Read Neysha’s full bio and posts.
Fernando Gonzalez | Issue Analyst
Fernando O. Gonzalez is a senior at Purchase College in New York, pursuing a dual-degree in History and Political Science with minors in Asian Studies and Economics. Fernando spent a semester abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. He is continuing his study of Japanese at the Japan Society in New York City. Read Fernando’s full bio and posts.
Jessica Almog | Issue Analyst
Jessica Almog graduated from the University of Rochester in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion, focusing on its sociological impact. More recently, Jessica completed her Master’s Degree at Tel Aviv University in International Conflict Resolution and Mediation. After spending almost three years in Israel, Jessica is back in New York City. Read Jessica’s full bio and posts.
Sarah McGough | Coordinator
My name is Sarah McGough, and I’m currently a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame studying Anthropology, Pre-Medicine, International Peace Studies, Portuguese, and whatever other fascinating classes I can fit into my schedule! In high school I found my voice through human rights campaigns, which made me realize just how interconnected we all are in this world – compassion and justice cross borders and zip codes. Read Sarah’s full bio and posts.
Usman Shabbir | Issue Analyst
Usman Shabbir is a rising sophomore at College of Wooster currently pursuing Political Science with IR concentration and Economics. Belonging to the state of Pakistan, Usman specializes in addressing US-Pakistan relation and provide scrutinized insights on Iran, Afghanistan, and Middle East regions. In 2009, Usman worked as a Research Assistant at Institute of Strategic Studies and coauthored a paper US Military Aid to Pakistan. The huge wave of terrorism and intricate religious radicalization inclined him to take interest in Security Issues. Read Usman’s full bio and posts.
Rozina Kanchwala | Issue Analyst
Rozina received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Following graduation, she taught 5th grade on a Native American Reservation for several months. Read Rozina’s full bio and posts.
Allyson Goldsmith | Coordinator
Allyson Goldsmith is a graduate student in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Policy at Syracuse University where she is simultaneously studying for a Masters of Public Administration and the Masters of Arts in International Relations. She is currently the Global Campaign for Education, Intern at RESULTS in Washington D.C. and serves as the Food Security Campaign Coordinator for Americans for Informed Democracy. Read Allyson’s full bio and posts.
Leila Mohamed | Coordinator
I attended St. Lawrence University and am in Minneapolis, MN. I want to do this work because I have always had a strong interest in the healthcare system and I was very excited to be part of the “food Security Team.” AID has provided me with an opportunity to learn about how the various political branches influence the healthcare system and how we can play our part as informed citizens to influence this very system for better standards of lives. Read Leila’s full bio and posts.
Vannessa Chapman | Fellow
Vannessa is a third-year Government and Spanish double-major at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. She has been an active member of her university community and has played a significant role in engaging her fellow students towards change. New to AIDemocracy, Vannessa hopes to learn a lot from this position. She looks forward to enhancing her leadership skills by organizing student movements and utilizing the driving forces of Social Media to promote change. Read Vannessa’s full bio and posts.
Reina Guerrero | Communications Guru
Reina graduated from Brandeis University in May 2011 with a Bachelors degree in Politics and History. Currently an employee of Georgetown University, she has spent many years as an advocate for causes that benefit the under privileged and is passionate about the issue of hunger. Read Reina’s full bio and posts.
Ashley Hamm | Issue Analyst
Ashley Hamm recently received her Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from Colorado Technical University. She plans to take the LSAT this winter and begin the application process to law school, but currently works as an entrepreneur and co-owner of a fitness studio in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Read Ashley’s full bio and posts.
Madelyn Swift | Issue Analyst
I’m Madelyn Swift, a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying Economics and International Studies, as well as a horse enthusiast. I think the beauty of a student run organization is that we don’t allow the world to tell us no or that our dreams are too big. Read Madelyn’s full bio and posts.
Mukul Sharma | Issue Analyst
Mukul Sharma is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park. He majored in Environmental Politics and Policy and now works for DC based firm SEGURA Consulting, contributing to projects both in and outside their environmental practice. Read Mukul’s full bio and posts.
Timothy Damon | Coordinator
My name is Timothy Damon. I hail from Alliance, Ohio, and I am a senior Law & Policy major at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I am motivated to address the myriad intersecting challenges facing my generation, like climate change, international security, and social justice. Read Timothy’s full bio and posts.
Christian Bowe | Issue Analyst
Christian is a first-year International Relations/Political Science double major with a specific focus in Government and Public Policy at BCC in New Jersey. He’s worked with NGOs in South Africa, Cambodia and Laos. His previous and ongoing work is focused on land rights during times of war, after times of war and during “development.” Read Christian’s full bio and posts.
Neena Kapur | Issue Analyst
My name is Neena Kapur, and I’m currently a freshman at Tufts University with an intended major in international relations with minors in physics and Japanese. Originally from Portland, Oregon, the state of green trees and beautiful natural features, I grew up climbing, hiking, biking, swimming, and enjoying all that mother nature has to offer. Through those adventures, and my experience researching alternate energy sources at Portland State University, I developed a passion for not only protecting our earth’s environment, but also utilizing science and technology to find effective solutions. Read Neena’s full bio and posts. [clear floats]
Sex and Justice
Billy Tsang | Fellow
Billy believes that being a Sex and Justice Fellow is important because there are a lot of health and safety issues affecting individuals and families around the world. As a college graduate from Rutgers University (NJ), he has had the opportunity to learn about many of these topics. Now, he’d like to share what he knows and continue to learn through this network at Americans for Informed Democracy. Why? Because the more you know, the more you can help. Read Billy’s full bio and posts.
Felicia Ward | Issue Analyst
I go to Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, FL. I want to do this work because, as Captain Planet says, “The future is yours!” Life is what you make of it. Why not make it better? Read Felicia’s full bio and posts.
Cory Rodgers | Issue Analyst
Cory is a premedical student working on a community health project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania under the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award (Fall 2011 – Summer 2012). He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with majors in Biology, Africana Studies, and the History & Philosophy of Science, and he conducted an undergraduate research thesis in Medical Anthropology. Read Cory’s full bio and posts.
Khushbu Patel | Fellow
Khushbu is AID’s current Global Health Fellow, who has a great desire to explore and better understand global health issues. She has taught courses on the political, social, ecological, economical and cultural affects of globalization and technology. Her international experience includes research field visits to India, Bolivia and Bangladesh, where she conducted research on gender issues, socio-economic inequalities, HIV/AIDS transmission rates, and sustainable rural development. Read Khushbu’s full bio and posts.
Youngeun Nam | Issue Analyst
Youngeun is from South Korea. Originally interested in social inequalities, I put myself into an airplane at the age of 17. Last winter, I filmed a documentary on female genital mutilation in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Read Youngeun’s full bio and posts.
Samia Malik-Taoulost | Issue Analyst
Samia Taoulost is a passionate women’s rights advocate who was born and raised in Morocco. While working full-time as a Manager at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine’s International Medicine Institute, she is completing her graduate studies in International Administration with a focus on Gender, Global Health, and Development. Read Samia’s full bio and posts.
Carly James | Issue Analyst
A recent graduate, Carly James is thrilled to be joining the AIDemocracy team. Carly’s first post-undergraduate adventure involved moving eastward across the Mason-Dixon Line to the capital of Delaware. She is spending a year working at the Delaware Economic Development Office as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Before moving her life up north, Carly spent twenty-two years in north and central Alabama. At The University of Alabama, Carly studied anthropology, international relations, and French. Read Carly’s full bio and posts.
We’ve also assembled a student Dream Team, much like the Campaign Teams to lead the Be2021 Campaign. These are the movement-builders who will help to construct a better world within the next decade!
Rajit Das | Issue Analyst
Rajit graduated in August 2011 with his M.A in International Relations from St. Mary’s University focusing on International Conflict Resolution. He received his B.A in Political Science with a minor in International Relations from The George Washington University. In the summer of 2008, Rajit had the opportunity to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland where he participated in a program entitled, “Multilateral Governance in International Affairs,” hosted at the Geneva Institute for International Studies at Development. Read Rajit’s full bio.
Kushal Ismael | Issue Analyst
Kushal is entering his junior year at McGill University. He is a double major in Political Science and International Development Studies. Within his Political Science major, he has a concentration in political theory, international relations, and comparative politics. Read Kushal’s full bio.
Ramis Wadood | Movement Organizer
Ramis Wadood is a high school senior at Athens High School in Troy, Mich. Currently, he is President of his school’s Model United Nations Club, President of his school’s Diversity Club, Vice President of his school’s Kiva (global micro-financing) Club, a Board Member of his school’s Club Wall Street (Economics Club) and a Law Intern. Read Ramis’s full bio.